The first printed reference to "fiz" is in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas' Bartender's Guide, which contains six such recipes. The Fizz became widely popular in America between 1900 and the 1940s. Known as a hometown specialty of New Orleans, the Gin Fizz was so popular that bars would employ teams of bartenders that would take turns shaking the drinks. Demand for fizzes went international at least as early as 1950, as evidenced by its inclusion in the French cookbook L'Art Culinaire Francais published that year.
A Gin Fizz is the best-known cocktail in the Fizz family. A Gin Fizz contains gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water, served in a tumbler with two ice cubes. The drink is similar to a Tom Collins, with a possible distinction being a Tom Collins historically used "Old Tom Gin" (a slightely sweeter precursor to London Dry Gin), whereas the kind of gin historically used in a Gin Fizz is unknown.
Pour all ingredients except soda in a mixing glass, dry shake (no ice) for two minutes, add ice and hard shake for another minute.
Strain into a highball glass without ice, top with soda.
A Ramos gin fizz (also known as a Ramos fizz or New Orleans fizz) contains gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water. It is served in a large non-tapered 12 to 14 ounce Collins glass.
The orange flower water and egg significantly affect the flavor and texture of a Ramos, compared to a regular Gin Fizz. Key to making this egg cocktail is to dissolve the sugar before adding ice; the sugar acts as an emulsifier, and it and the alcohol 'cook' the egg white. Many modern bartenders prefer using powdered egg white to eliminate the possible health risks associated with raw eggs.
Henry C. Ramos invented the Ramos gin fizz in 1888 at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon on Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was originally called the New Orleans Fizz, and is one of the city's most famous cocktails. Before Prohibition, the drink's popularity and exceptionally long 12-minute mixing time had over 20 bartenders working at the Imperial at once making nothing but the Ramos Gin Fizz - and still struggling to keep up with demand. During the carnival of 1915, 32 staff were on at once, just to shake the drink.
The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans also popularized the drink, abetted by governor Huey Long's fondness for it. In July 1935, Long brought a bartender named Sam Guarino from the Roosevelt Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel in New York City to teach its staff how to make the drink so he could have it whenever he was there. The Museum of the American Cocktail has newsreel footage of this event. The Roosevelt Hotel group trademarked the drink name in 1935 and still makes it today.
Japanese Gin Fizz — a standard Gin Fizz with a shot of Lychee liquor added
Sour Melon Fizz - Gin, lime juice, midori and ginger ale
In popular culture
In Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, protagonist Ned Beaumont encounters mob moll Lee Wilshire at the West Road Inn, and after asking her if she has eaten yet, she replies yes, but that she wants “a silver fizz.”
Ramos Fizz was mentioned in The John Cromwell film Dead Reckoning starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. Lizabeth Scott Coral (Dusty Chandler) orders a Ramos Gin Fizzy in the bar with Capt. Warren (Rip) Murdock. where he comes to meet bartender Louis Ord George Chandler who was a witness against Sergeant Johnny Drake (William Prince) his paratrooper buddy.
The drink is mentioned in the Jack White and Loretta Lynn song "Portland Oregon," with the lines "Well, Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love then tell me what is" and "Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fast, when you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass." It is not common for the drink to be served by the pitcher, hence the allure of the beverage.
Another song which includes a reference is Aerosmith's "Rag Doll", which includes the lyrics "Sloe gin fizzy / do it till you're dizzy / give it all you got until you're put out of your misery."
This beverage is mentioned in Book Two of Richard Wright's novel Native Son as the character Bigger Thomas orders two sloe gin fizzes: one for him and the other for Bessie.
The name also shows up in the song "BMW Man" on the Local H album 12 Angry Months.
The drink is sung of by Sammy Kershaw in his song "Queen of my Double Wide Trailer." "We sat there talkin' by the lobster tank/I ordered her a sloe gin fizz/And when them chicken-fried steaks arrived/She said, 'I like living like this.'"
Paul Sanchez, a New Orleans singer/songwriter, references this drink in his song "Drunk This Christmas" in the line "I hope Santa's bringing / an icy Sloe gin fizz."
In Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, a series of novels set in 1940s India, several scenes include consumption of sloe gin fizzes.
This drink is mentioned in the TV series Psych in the episode "Lets Get Hairy." "I'd like a Sloe gin fizz please, hold the gin, extra fizz."
This drink is mentioned in an episode of the TV series Greek, on ABC Family. Casey Cartwright orders two sloe gin fizzes for herself and Catherine. Later, Catherine says, "This slow gin fizz is not living up to its name; it went straight to my head pretty quickly!"
In an episode of The Golden Girls, entitled "The Triangle," Dr. Elliott Clayton arrives to pick up Dorothy for their date. Blanche offers to make him a Sloe Gin Fizz while he waits for Dorothy to finish getting ready. Instead of the cocktail, he prefers to hit on Blanche. Blanche is not accustomed to being manhandled.
In the song "Stagger Lee" by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, Delilah De Lyon "Went up to Stagger Lee at the bar, says 'Buy me Gin Fizz love?'"